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J OB A PPLICATION P ROCESS AND F INNISH W ORK L IFE Milja Tuomaala University of Oulu VALOA-project.

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Presentation on theme: "J OB A PPLICATION P ROCESS AND F INNISH W ORK L IFE Milja Tuomaala University of Oulu VALOA-project."— Presentation transcript:

1 J OB A PPLICATION P ROCESS AND F INNISH W ORK L IFE Milja Tuomaala University of Oulu VALOA-project

2 Interview Goal achieved?? Contacting employers Set your goals! Make your action plan! Seeking information about employers and open positions Applications Selection What can you do? What do you want to do? What can you do? What do you want to do? J OB SEEKING PROCESS Phone calls Career Services, University of Oulu

3 JOB SEEKING AND WORKING IN F INLAND Employers are used to applicants contacting them directly Don’t be shy – be active! Networking is the key Punctuality is extremely important – be on time, always!

4 A PPLICATION DOCUMENTS ( APPLICATION & CV) ”Style” Speaks about applicant’s attitude and motives Layout and visual aspects of application Content Applicant’s expertise and competence Employer gets the information he/she needs to support selection process and decision making Readability and clear structure helps them to find the accurate information Correct grammar and linguistic form, no misspellings

5 A PPLICATION MAKES THE FIRST IMPRESSION ! 1) Emphasize your skills and know-how related to certain job and its requirements 2) Highlight your personality 3) Tailor your application to fit into each position 4) Decribe the additional value you can bring for the job 5) Remember to be truthful 6) If the job announcement is in Finnish, make a application in Finnish (but only if you know Finnish!)

6 G OOD APPLICATION IS … …seemly and relavant Think about what kind of picture you want the employer to get from you Read the announcement carefully – what are they looking for? Be honest and truthful, don’t ”over-sell” Try to put yourself to employer’s position – why should they hire you? …clear Both outfit and content ”Normal” fonts, font size and margins Pay attention to the logical order of content …short Concentrate on key issues Don’t send copies of testimonial, diplomas etc. unless asked Max 1 page

7 G OOD APPLICATION IS … …personal Keep your own personal style If your style does not fit the company’s culture, maybe you do not fit either… Avoid standard applications and used phrases – show that you have paid attention to this particular application Humour is allowed, but be careful with it …giving the employer answer WHY Speaking about motivation, why you want to be selected What in your personality, skills and know-how fits the position and company If you can show your enthusiasm – you have more chances to be picked from the mass of applicants

8 G OOD CV IS … …clear - both layout and structure …readable and well-defined …not too long (max. 2 pages) …updated (no old dates) …tailored for applied position * All the important information should be easily found in the CV *

9 G OOD CV INCLUDES … Contact details Title; Curriculum Vitae / CV / Resume Personal details; Name, date and place of birth Education; in reverse order  Degree, educational institution and major  If degree not complited; stage of studies and estimated graduation time, if studies are in final straight  If your theses work is related to the applied job, describe the key elements of it  Studies abroad; dates and gained experience & know-how  Supplementary education / shorter courses (mention at least those relevant for the applied job)

10 G OOD CV INCLUDES … Work experience; in reverse order  E mployer, time, title. You might want to give key words for job description and responsibilities (if it’s relevant for the applied job). Make it compact!  If you have long work experience you may outline your experience under subtitles, which helps the employer to find the information he/she is interested in. For example customer service work, project work, office work… Language skills;  Languages and evaluation of your proficiency (spoken vs. written)  You may want to describe your level of language skills by giving examples. IT-skills  Programs and operating systems you are familiar with  Especially special skills; programming  Estimated level of your skills

11 CV CAN ALSO INCLUDE … Photo Military / non-military service Marital status / number of children Positions of trust / organizational activities /voluntary work  If your work history is short, you can emphasize skills and know-how gained in these kind of positions Hobbies  Gives a more personal touch of you  You may have gained special skills and competences needed in working life also in your hobbies Research and publishing activities Referees / recommendations  Give name, title, contact details and how this person is related to you

12 R EMEMBER ALSO : YOUR WEB PERSONALITY / IDENTITY = ” YOUR OTHER CV” Think, how you present yourself in Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, YouTube… How about your blogging …? ”Työnantajan parjaaminen Facebookissa on johtanut ainakin yhden PAMin edustaman työntekijän irtisanomiseen[…]” (Taloussanomat 27.10.09)  Roughly translated: Badmouthing your employer in Facebook has led to at least one sacking…

13 An important ”Career Channel” for professional networking nowadays is LinkedIn: A place to network and find open positions The most important recruiting channel for many companies Creating a personal profile is easy  and networking after that goes fast… More information: (Presentation by Tom Laine)

14 C ONTACTING THE EMPLOYER Think in advance what you want to ask. Don’t call just for calling, and don’t ask for information, which is found in job announcement or is otherwise useless. Short and punchy questions! Remember to take notes about most important issues during the conversation (also name of the person you are speaking with) Also note that the person you are speaking with might take notes Be prepared to tell about yourself. Make a list of the things employer should know about your skills and know-how, and the things that might raise employer’s interest Try to find out about things that are meaningful to you (work times, who are you reporting to, are you expected to travel and if so, how much travelling is required etc.) Avoid both excessive self-confidence and excessive humility ”Sell your competence”

15 THE I NTERVIEW Goals for the interview;  Changing information – both sides  Evaluation – both sides  How the person would adapt to the job/position/team/organization (suitability) Interview types;  Phone interview  Group interview  Individual interview  Work simulation  Aptitude tests  Combination of previous

16 P REPARING FOR THE I NTERVIEW Get to know the employer “Why are you interested in us/our organization?” Personal goals & motives Your skills and competences Try to predict what they’ll ask you and outline your answers Give concrete examples of your skills and experiences Try to approach negative things from positive aspects Be consistent and logical Prepare to ask questions Be prepared to be asked about salary expectation Forget all cliches Be yourself!

17 B EFORE THE INTERVIEW … Sleep well beforehand Not too much coffee before the interview… Take your certificates with you (degree diplomas, testimonials, letters of reference) Be on time!! Dress appropriately (smart casual) Close your mobile phone Be positive Relax Remember that the interviewers are often nervous too… Don’t be too modest or too arrogant Trust yourself!

18 T OP 10 – MOST COMMON QUESTIONS IN JOB INTERVIEWS 1. Tell us about yourself 2. What do you know about our organization? 3. What are your strengths? 4. What about weaknesses? 5. What motivates you? 6. If everything goes as you have planned – where do you see yourself in 3 years? 7. What do you do in your free time? 8. Why are you interested in this post? 9. Why should we choose you? 10. Is there something you would like to ask from us? Career Services, University of Oulu

19 A CCORDING TO F INNISH LEGISLATION THEY SHOULD NOT ASK ABOUT... Religious beliefs and political conviction Health, illnesses, disability Family relations / family planning Sexuality Military /non-military service Your ethnic backgroud  Only job related aspects should be asked  Things/questions that are not linked in that specific work should be arguable/justified

20 H OW THE INTERVIEW COULD PROCEED … Introductions (organization, interviewers) Applicant’s background Competency, ability (education, experience) Motivation, expectations Career/professional goals Characteristics: personal strengths, weaknesses, future plans How the process will proceed… Applicant’s questions

21 E XAMPLES : ”D O YOU HAVE SOMETHING TO ASK US …?” What kind of expectations do you have for the employee who will be selected? How could a typical working day look like? What are the most important tasks in this job? What do you think would be the biggest challenges in the job? What kind of possibilities is there for career progression and personal development? How about employees’ possibilities to educate themself further? How is the recruiting process going to continue after the interview? What else…??

22 H OW TO CONVINCE THE SELECTORS …? BE YOURSELF - don’t play any roles Be honest SHOW your interest and your motivation  Express your interest in the job and the company using information you gathered to prepare for the interview BRING OUT your motives and your willingness to develope and learn DON’T BE vague REMEMBER THE BASICS: Be on time, behave well and be polite And remember the eye-contact …It’s ok to be nervous!

23 S OME OTHER THINGS … Speak positively of former employers and co-workers no matter why you left even if you were fired. When discussing salary, be flexible - avoid naming a specific salary if not asked. If you're too high, you risk not getting the job. If you're too low, you undersell yourself. Answer questions on salary requirements with responses such as "I'm interested in the job as a career opportunity so I'm negotiable on the starting salary". Negotiate, but don't sell yourself short. Check salary recommendation and salary level data (unions, interest groups, graduate surveys etc.) Let the employer lead into conversations about benefits. Your focus on these items can be a "turn off." But, don't be afraid to ask questions about things that you really need to know. More:

24 F INNISH WORK LIFE – HOW IS IT ? o Communication style: Communication style is formal. Finns do not engage in much small talk and prefer people to speak succinctly, not to discuss themselves or their interests, focusing primarily on work related issues. Finns are limited communicators but very proficient in foreign languages – the fear of making mistakes limits their communication Silence is golden in Finland; do not feel the need to fill every silence that occurs in a meeting. Body language and feedback are limited and difficult to read. Do not be too disheartened if your presentation does not meet with the rapturous applause you had anticipated. Don’t be overly enthusiastic about your proposals. It is necessary to look at the possible downsides before succumbing to optimism. Some would call it pessimism, but Finns think it as realism. Finns are direct and prefer to get down to business quickly. They say what they think and expect you to do the same. Maintain eye contact while speaking. o Management style: Finns support a collaborative and participative management style. Low hierarchy and distance between grass root level and management. Finns like to know exactly the perimeters of their responsibilities and will expect to be allowed to take the decisions which fall naturally within those perimeters.

25 F INNISH WORK LIFE FEATURES … o Decision making: “Official” decisions tend to be taken in a collegiate style by a small group of senior managers. These major decision making processes can take a long time. “Smaller” decisions can be made quickly and implemented as swiftly. Finns are very concerned with quality. o Time management: Finland is a controlled-time culture, and keeping schedules is important and expected. In Finland missing a deadline is a sign of poor management and inefficiency, and will shake people’s confidence. Punctuality is important! o Meetings: Meetings can seem strange affairs to people not familiar with Finland or the Finns - long but quiet. Meetings are well-structured, follow a pre-set agenda and are orderly with one person speaking at a time - often seeking permission to speak through the Chair. People will be well prepared, as you are not expected to speak unless you have something concrete to contribute. Finns tend less towards consensus than their Nordic cousins, expecting individuals to take responsibility

26 F INNISH WORK LIFE FEATURES … o Building relationships with co-workers: Relationship building often takes place outside the office: in a restaurant or the sauna. Never turn down an invitation to use the sauna, as it is an entrenched part of the Finnish culture and an important part of relationship building. There will be minimal, if any, small talk. o Team work: Finns are more individualist than collectivist But still comfortable working in task-oriented teams Finnish idea of team-working would tend to be that of a group of capable individuals being given the opportunity to complete well-defined tasks which, when put together, will enable the team to reach its goals. o Dress code: A wide variety of styles and levels of formality can be observed – observe how your colleagues dress o Other: Employees have been very loyal to employers with little job-hopping taking place (specially in smaller towns/villages). The Finnish working culture is based on equality. Women have historically played a major role in business life and women are found in the most senior positions in large Finnish companies. Diligence, individuality and initiative are highly valued, together with strict observance of agreements and agreed schedules.

27 F INNISH WORK LIFE - W AGES & C ONDITIONS OF E MPLOYMENT Working Hours Regular working hours are usually at most 8 daily hours and 40 weekly hours. In a two-week period the working hours are not more than 80 hours and in a three-week period 120 hours Wages There is no universal minimum wage in Finland. The collective agreement in most employment branches determines the pay and other minimum employment terms. It is also possible to agree on benefits such as food and residence in addition to the wage. Pay during illness /Sick pay According to the law, an employee who is unable to work due to an illness or an accident is entitled to paid sick leave. After working for the same employer for at least a month, employees have the right to receive sick-leave pay if they are unable to work due to illness or injury. To be entitled to sick-leave pay the working inability must be determined in a way satisfactory to the employer (for ex. a doctors certificate) Annual holidays An employee has a right to receive pay also for the time he/she is on annual holiday. Normally holiday leave accumulates 2 days (when employment has lasted less than 1 year) or 2½ days for each holiday credit month. Normal wages are paid for the time an employee is on holiday. Check: Industrial safety district provides information on the definition of working time, flexible hours, shift-work, overtime, time-keeping and more.

28 F INNISH WORK LIFE – T RADE U NIONS o The main purpose of a trade union is to safeguard the benefits and rights of its members o Income development (salaries and transfer of income) o Employment security guarantees o Promotion of quality in working life o Possibility to join the trade union’s unemployment fund (earnings- related daily unemployment allowance ) o Trade union members pay a membership fee to the union o It is possible to join the union already when you are studying!

29 T RADE U NIONS o SAK - The Central Organisation of Finnish Trade Unions  o Uusi insinööriliitto - Union of Professional Engineers in Finland ,21298&_dad=portal&_schema=PORTAL,21298&_dad=portal&_schema=PORTAL  Note! Check the details for student membership o KTK Tekniikan Asiantuntijat ry - Union of Technical Professionals, KTK  o Find your union; 

30 W HAT DO EMPLOYERS EXPECT FROM GRADUATES ? Expertise Field specific theoretical knowledge (concepts, theories, knowledge) Ability to apply theories Knowledge of laws and regulations related to own field Ability to analytical and systematic thinking Ability to acquire information Criticality for information sources All-round education Social skills Group / team work skills Interaction skills Flexibility General ”work skills” Organizing and coordinating skills Project management skills Problem-solving skills Learning ability Ability for creative thinking Ability for independent working Initiative Managing skills Flexibility and adaptability Eric Carver

31 W HAT DO EMPLOYERS EXPECT FROM GRADUATES ? Communication skills Written and oral communication skills Negotiating skills Public performing skills Technical skills ICT-skills Computer / technical equipment skills International skills Communication skills with foreign languages Special know-how of certain country / culture International attitude / mindset Multicultural skills Business and economical skills Understanding of economic and societal mechanisms and systems Financial administration Financial planning and follow-up Customer service skills Marketing and sales skills Eric Carver

32 EXERCISE M Y PERSONAL PROJECT – CAREER GOALS & ACTION PLAN FOR JOB SEEKING o Setting your career goals o Preparing a concrete action plan, which helps you to direct you actions towards set goals


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